Sunday, April 26, 2009

Factdown!: Poll shows Iggy popped

The Liberal Party message box on offer right now is that Michael Ignatieff and the Canadian people are enjoying an exciting, fireworksy new romance that’s certain to bloom into an embarrassingly steamy make-out session at the ballot box.

The corollary of this message is that the new Liberal leader’s limitless popularity is hurting the New Democratic Party and forcing them into a state of panic. The media, bored of economic stories and anxious to return to covering horseracing are happy to parrot the tired Liberal lines.

The only thing lacking in this twaddle is any actual ounce of reality.

By way of illustration, the Harris Decima poll that came out this week demonstrates two facts that fly in the face of the Liberal message:

1) Support for the Ignatieff Liberals has been on a steady DOWNWARD trend since late March; and
2) Support for Jack Layton's New Democrats has been GROWING since the middle of last month.

As for the corollary that a new Liberal leader foretells of an inevitable end of days for New Democrats, let's review, shall we ...

... The Paul Martin juggernaut was poised to win 290 seats – wiping the NDP clean off the electoral map in the process. Actual result: NDP growth / Liberal decline.

... Stephane Dion was going to consume all the political oxygen on the left, deny Jack Layton his well earned credibility on the environment and reduce the party to a rump. Actual result: NDP growth / worst Liberal result in history.

... Now there’s Ignatieff.

For most Canadians – after five leaders of the Liberal Party in six years - this whole melodrama is getting a bit predictable.


ADHR said...


Martin and Dion were both seasoned campaigners during the respective elections. Dion had won his seat five times, Martin four times. Ignatieff's only contested -- and won, to be fair -- twice.

Not to mention the problems rookie leaders always have first time out -- both Layton and Harper screwed up their first elections as party leaders.

Steve V said...

OMG, now 16% in the polls is considered "growing" for the NDP, while numbers that translate to 126 Liberal seats is "popped". Is it really that bad?

Here's the average of all the polls since your big "March" thesis (including this one):

Libs 34.1%
Cons 31.6%
NDP 15.1%

Everyone has it wrong I guess, but you're the clever one. It's all a conspiracy, hope that works for you. Things can change, I'm not counting out the NDP (probably the best thing Layton has down in months is admit his strategy was an abysmal failure and needed to change), nor are the Liberals remotely in the clear or sustained, but keep it real.

Cue the "sky is orange" retort...

Oppo said...

"Conspiracy?" Who said anything about a conspiracy?

All that's being said here is that Ignatieff's alleged popularity is an over-hyped illusion, just like Dion and Martin's before him; which is true.

Scott Tribe said...

Actually Steve, don't chide the Horse.. I missed Blogging's posts actually; he could always be counted on to attack the Liberals more the Conservative government.. and ole' Faithful hasn't broke the trend with his return ;)

Blogging Horse said...

Awww. Thanks, Scott.

We can't let these Liberals (or anyone else) take themselves (or their talking points) too seriously! ;)

Blue Yukon said...

this was one of the better posts i've read - haven't had a good chuckle like that in a while.

like muclair, the discussion is not about Harper at all, but about how terrible the liberal nation is.

i also like how the results from 70% of the graph are ignored, only the last few weeks are commented on.

Dylan said...

The biggest trend you fail to mention and that is how the NDP has taken the popularity lead in BC - a crucial battleground between Liberals and Conservatives. And that's fine, cause the real hard work will need to be done by the CPC in Ontario and Quebec to regain the support that they've lost to the Liberals.

You also fail to mention that women (in general) and specifically urban women have ABANDONED the NDP according the the Harris Decima poll since the 08 election and have thrown their support to the Liberals over both the CPC and NDP.

Lastly, if we're talking about over all trends here, the balloon has not popped for Iggy if we look at the national party standings from election day to December - Liberals up, NDP down. And the LPC continued to climb until this recent blip where their popularity stood in January.

Futhermore, the only party that is truly on an upward swing from the October election until now, has been the Greens. While the NDP won't come close to garnering the popular support they earned at the ballot box last October, the Greens and the LPC would improve on their record, while the CPC, NDP and Bloc would fall short.

This does not mean that the NDP is not a viable party on election day, nor does it mean that Ignatieff has "stolen" NDP support or seeks to "crush" the party - sending it into political purgatory - rather, that the tide of disaffected progressives has ended. And that when it comes to E-Day, people will vote for a party that will replace the CPC rather than the guys who will be sitting alongside them in the opposition.

janfromthebruce said...

I also look at trend lines - no wonder the MSM forces for either the blue and/or red team which are much the same came out in force this past week - with the tired meme - the NDP is doomed. The other tired meme is the Greens are "really growing" and will show at the ballot box.
Anyway, as Iggy and the Libs continue to keep the Harper Cons in power, and Iggy continues to sell his book about - really him and sure he is a real Canadian - as the Canadian economy burns that "election" where again libs/cons predict the demise of the NDP, nothing is going to happen for over a year.
Come on, the libs for all their bragging, don't have any money, and tossing Canadians into another election in 6 months - where looking at what "seats" will really come into play makes this "chest pounding" all the more laughable.

Glad Jack figured that out and decided that they'd work at getting policies to work for Canadians, showing up to work, and acting like an opposition party - rather than play pretend like the libs.

And oh, yes, the Greens are the 2nd coming - it is written in the Green tea leaves.

Dylan said...

Jan, I find some of your comments puzzling.

First of all, who exactly is predicting that the LPC is going to swallow the NDP in the next election or near future? Furthermore, who is suggesting that Ignatieff is the man to lure the majority of NDP support. Harris Decima certainly didn't do that.

Secondly, are the Liberals propping up the CPC? And before you answer and call Ignatieff's post-Coalition tactics despicable, remember your branding of the LPC as election-crazed maniacs whose lust for power is irresponsible during this time of economic crisis. The real reality is that Michaelle Jean would NEVER have allowed a coalition government when she agreed to prorogue parliament. There would have been a January election, an even WORSE outcome of December's parliamentary crisis than the LPC putting the government "on probation" (a poor choice of words, in my opinion). If the NDP is acting so much like the Opposition, then surely it should have been Jack meeting with the Obama administration? Surely it would have been the NDP to make Canadians aware of the obvious need to raise taxes, such as the GST back to 6%, to give the government a financial boost. Instead, Jack's team has sat on the sidelines. He'd do better to go with the Liberal flow and attack the CPC in areas where they will win seats. They're up in BC and they should harness that to take seats away from the CPC there and organized labour dependent municipalities in SW Ontario. Instead, you'll jab Iggy with the left and try to hook Harper with the right, leaving yourself open in the middle for both parties to strike back.

Lastly, the trend does show that the GPC is growing. No one said that this will directly translate to seats in parliament, nor the usurping of NDP support. Each election, they gain more votes than the last from a wide array of constituencies across the country. The NDP has no reason to fear them nor do their supporters, like you, need to obsessively tarnish them as irrelevant. It is, to be honest, unbecoming of a party whose social roots are historically very similar and whose goals are often shared by GPC policy and supporters. Cooperation used to be in the name of the NDP predecessor, the CCF, but I suppose those values have evaporated, or been forgotten since then. No one is predicting a Green government in the next election, so save your hyper-sarcasm for somewhere else.

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